Wikipedia talk:Conflict of interest

Active discussions

Should it be a requirement that WP:PAID editors "must" use the WP:AFC process to publish articles?Edit

A few months ago, this guideline was changed to replace the word "should" with "must", and now advises WP:PAID editors: "you must put new articles through the Articles for Creation (AfC) process instead of creating them directly". The purpose of the RfC is to determine whether this change has consensus, or if the previous guidance should be restored. –xenotalk 12:24, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Please note the status quo ante was restored during this discussion, that change is discussed in a separate thread below. –xenotalk 18:02, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • They should not be allowed to create articles at all, especially directly in mainspace (unless they are Wikipedians in Residence or similar roles where the interests of the encyclopedia and the funders are aligned). Only volunteers should make inclusion decisions for this volunteer curated project. When paid editors start making inclusion decisions, Wikipedia ceases to be an encyclopedia and turns into an advertising medium that is nothing more than an extension of the subject's websites and social media profiles. MER-C 12:34, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • But that's what AfC is. A process where volunteers make inclusion decisions before an article goes live, particularly when dealing with Paid or COI editors who require an additional layer of scrutiny. If this is what you want, it's unclear to me why you would not support the proposal and would rather ban them from creating articles in the draftspace, under volunteer scrutiny. Banning paid editors from creating articles in good faith does not eliminate paid editing, it just leaves paid editors the singular option to create articles without us ever knowing their status. ~Swarm~ {sting} 13:30, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
      • It certainly seems to go in the opposite direction of what the paid editing disclosure requirements are meant to accomplish by pushing potential paid editors back into 'undisclosed' territory, causing more work administratively. –xenotalk 13:41, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • They should not be able/allowed to make articles in mainspace, all should go through AfC. There are those that do make good articles, but those are rather few, and for them AfC should not be a hurdle at all. If only we could go as far that they should actually also must not add anything to mainspace with the articles that they have a conflict of interest with, but use a {{edit request}} on the talkpage then we would get somewhere suitable. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:34, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • I think such a change would need to come in the context of graduating this from a guideline to a policy (with the number of "musts" already present in the guideline, that should probably be raised anyway). –xenotalk 13:38, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Alternatively, that wording could go into WP:PAID, in which case WP:COI follows the policy. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:07, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
      • That's probably easier, yes. –xenotalk 14:18, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
      • The paid-contribution disclosure (WP:PAID) page started as a place on English Wikipedia to document the paid-contribution disclosure requirement in the terms of use, including the option for the project to adopt an alternate disclosure policy. It then got a lot of stuff added from other guidelines, which has made the section describing the alternate policy somewhat confusing, as it doesn't apply to the other stuff. I strongly suggest not hanging more guidance on the paid-contribution disclosure page. I think it is better placed on this page or an explicit guidance for paid editors page. isaacl (talk) 07:02, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I think ALL editors should be forced to use AFC at this point. New and old, volunteer and paid. Wikipedia is almost 20 years old, if a topic is isn't considered notable by now it probably isn't. So validate all notability on creation instead of retroactively at AFD. Also AFC should be better at funnelling non notable topics to suitable alternate wikis so free content isn't lost. 2A01:4C8:51:4FCD:80BE:1419:F86B:1661 (talk) 14:25, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • That sounds a little extreme. I don't think expirenced non-COI editors need to go via the AFC process. Not only would that cause a huge strain on the AFC process, but that might discourage editors from creating articles since they would have to wait 6 months before their article could be created. That being said, I think we should keep the AFC requirement for creating articles with a COI. Without this, there may be widespread PR articles on Wikipedia. P,TO 19104 (talk) (contribs) 15:16, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • I think that's silly. There are thousands of experienced editors who know how to create perfectly acceptable new articles. That's a bridge too far. --Jayron32 15:32, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Every year there are thousands of new topics that immediately meet our notability criteria. It would be a mistake to force the start of such topics into draftspace where they would miss the collaborative editing that is the strength of this crowd sourced site. Spam and other COI articles are a different matter, I see no harm in shunting them into draftspace, providing we can come up with better ways to identify COI editors, or we accept that there will be some COI editors who are so good at writing in a Wikipedia way that their COI is not obvious. ϢereSpielChequers 11:35, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
    • There are literally millions of valid topics still to cover before were get close to the sum of all (Wikipedia-notability-endorsed) human knowledge. And instead of having to go through the not-a-bottleneck of thousands of capable contributors, everything would have to go through the few dozen (is it about that?) volunteers at AFC. Silly idea. (Anyway, that's not what the RfC is about, so it's off-topic). Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:45, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Normally, I'm reticent to use obligatory language with anything at Wikipedia (I live IAR in real life and at Wikipedia...) but I also think that this is one of the rare cases where a bright line rule is useful. Forcing paid editors to go through a review process is ideal and will allow us to both pass on good articles to the main space (since some paid editors are perfectly capable of writing a proper article and will find the process to be only a minor inconvenience) and will also allow us to slow or stop the crap advertising that some people try to pass off who have no experience with writing in our house style. This seems like a good idea. --Jayron32 15:35, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • No, of course not. ---Another Believer (Talk) 15:42, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • This exact topic was discussed recently elsewhere. I don't have a link to that one but my impression is that based on that discussion, the change made here does not have consensus. (I participated in that discussion also, so if someone could find and link it...) --Izno (talk) 15:46, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • While we can sort out a few details of where this exact language should go, I'm generally supportive of having a strict rule to make paid editors go through AfC. As Dirk Beetstra notes, this won't adversely impact the paid editors who are good contributors and know how to play by the rules, and provides firmer ground for dealing with editors who are engaging in bad faith. signed, Rosguill talk 17:08, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Is this a serious proposal that anyone thinks is going to work or is this just to make us feel righteous? Are we really going to expect PR firms to say to their clients, "Yes, Mr. Bigwig, we've created the biography article you paid us $200/hr for. What's that? Why can't you see it yet? Well, we're waiting for the very stringent review of Randy from Boise. No, I'm sorry. even though it would be trivially easy for us to go around waiting on Randy it would be wrong of us to do that." Really? Does that sound reasonable to anyone? This is feel-good instruction creep and bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. Note: I don't actually think the folks at AfC are Randys. They do great and important and generally thankless work. I simply don't think that paid article or PR firms nor their clients will know or care about the difference. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 20:22, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    Eggishorn, There are also problems with the AfC process. I've seen notable topics rejected, drafts rejected for silly reasons, and editors unfamiliar with certain topics weighing in inappropriately, among other issues. Not to mention, some drafts take months or even years to be reviewed... ---Another Believer (Talk) 20:25, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    @Another Believer:, thank you for pointing that out. Your last point (the backlog) has unfortunately become endemic and permanent at AfC and that reason alone is, I feel, enough to ensure that this proposal would be a miserable failure in practice. This proposal would, in fact, incentivize the very behavior is is supposed to stop. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 20:36, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    Eggishorn, I share the frustrations. I think we all know at some level that what's needed to combat paid editing is better techniques for catching UPEs or shaming companies, not more rules. People focus on rules because legal action is in the hands of WMF and other sorts of action require getting creative. But I'd really prefer to see us focus on things like setting up sting operations like the one French Wikipedia used to remarkable effect or coordinating off-wiki shaming campaigns (image if The North Face had faced a serious boycott effort, not just scattered disgruntled tweets). {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:41, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Feels like it will shoot us in the foot in the long run. Responsible paid editors will follow the rule and wait forever to have drafts reviewed. Bad faith paid editors will not. This incentivizes paid editors to not disclose their COI because it will be more expedient to keep it concealed. Verifying UPE is hard, and so incentivizing non-disclosure seems to be stacking the odds against us. Wug·a·po·des 21:03, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
    Wugapodes, Well said. ---Another Believer (Talk) 21:16, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm late to the party, but is this only applicable to editors who have submitted a Wikipedia:Paid-contribution disclosure and not to suspected paid editors who have not disclosed their status as such? wbm1058 (talk) 02:46, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • A distinction should probably be drawn between entry-level paid editors and experienced paid editors. Maybe make a professional editor put their first five or ten articles through the review but once those have passed, exempt them if they've demonstrated competence? I can envision the possibility of some paid editors having more experience and competence than our newer volunteer reviewers. Spot checks could be made on the exempted pros to make sure they aren't abusing their privileges. – wbm1058 (talk) 03:16, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
On the surface this seems like a common sense idea, but the problem it actively contributes to UPE. Will a company chose a disclosed editor complying with the rule who says that their article will take 2 months of review and more if it is declined, or an UPE who says they can get it up immediately? We shouldn't be putting in barriers that only disclosed paid editors have to face, in order to actually get compliance with any of our policies at all, if not absolutely necessary to NPOV. Zoozaz1 (talk) 03:26, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
Disclosed paid editors should go to the head of the line. We should give them a priority queue to ensure their submissions are promptly reviewed. Knowing that professional edits are more promptly reviewed than amateur edits should incentivize disclosure. Hopefully the volunteer reviewers aren't outnumbered; if they are then we'll need a way to incentivize reviewers too. – wbm1058 (talk) 03:55, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
@Wbm1058:, that's an awful idea - it treats paid editors better than volunteer, newcomer, editors (or non-paid COI editors). It also would logically encourage false paid-coi claims. I would specifically refuse to work on any paid editor priority queue were this to be introduced and I suspect a good number of reviewers would join me. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:06, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would further encourage nondisclosure. Benjamin (talk) 06:53, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes, absolutely, as both the idealistic and pragmatic solution. Idealistically, we should always be reviewing any writing which we use that is not independent (another example would be incorporation of freely licensed text). Pragmatically, this is a quicker banhammer to those who are trying to subvert our fundamental principles. Almost all paid editors will not know or care about us changing "should" to "must". Any AfC or NPP editor I've seen is already leaving a paid editor with the impression that AfC is mandatory. The point is that having this as a hard rule makes it easier to take action against what previously may not technically have been sanctionable. (Of course, anyone who breaks the rules in good faith does not have to be sanctioned.) — Bilorv (talk) 15:49, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must, unless experience criterion met - I suspect there are very few disclosed paid editors who wouldn't have disclosed if they'd had to do AfC - we functionally force people down that queue anyway. Whereas I'm staunchly against any attempt to ban paid editor creations entirely (which absolutely would bump the UPE rate). If we want to say "after 10 articles have been accepted through AfC, a paid editor may submit directly" I'd be in favour of that. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:06, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Paid editors must use AFC for new articles. I tried to find how many editors actually use the paid editing template on their user page. Seems to be around 4,000. Obviously, most paid editors are not disclosing. The argument that requiring AFC will drive them underground is not relevant here, as the majority of paid editors are already underground, from what I have seen at COIN. As mentioned above, French Wikipedia found a couple hundred of them recently. Requiring AFC is not gong to solve the problem, but it gives us some tools to work with the undisclosed paid editors that get discovered. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 16:22, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Use of that template is not mandatory. It is perfectly possible - and acceptable - to make a compliant disclosure without it. Your "around 4,000" figure tells us no more than how many people use the template. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:33, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must. Relatively few paid editors seem to understand COI policy. Their articles tend to be riddled with issues, from notability to spam. Require AfC. Wugapodes' point is fair, however, and I've made the same point myself before on one of those PAID policy talks. Such articles would probably just get draftified. It would be easier to enforce this if the guideline on draftifying, accompanying this requirement, focused on general promo spamminess (not rising to G11) rather than requiring 'proof' of COI. In effect, the point of such a PAID AfC rule is intended to prevent the former, and only the former can be determined anyway. If that is not done, then this would be impossible to enforce, and hence just contribute to causing more UPE. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 16:26, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must I was the one who changed the word, using BRD, , because I thought that my change represented the clear policy of what we were requiring them to do, and that saying anything short of that was giving them advice or instruction that would lead to their work being rejected. It was not I who started insisting they do it--I followed the lead of the other editors who consistently did, and tried merely to match the wording of our statement with our actual guideline, which is the way the policy is in practice applied.
    I don't want to downgrade honest PR or honest advertising.; I respect both professions as having a place in the world if done properly. I am aware -- and even wikifriends--with several of paid editors, and I find that none of them can be fully trusted to do acceptable work on paid articles. A few of them do very acceptable work when they work on articles that interest them as volunteers, and have no need whatever of using AfC when writing in that capacity; in principle they have the knowledge and experience that it seems would enable them to do similarly good work on paid articles also--but they almost never do. I have done paid writing outside Wikipedia, though never after I joined. The purpose of my writing generally was to write a fair evaluation of a product, and I did so, and I think I was totally honest, and I was not usually paid even indirectly by the firm whose work i was evaluating, and I was paid even when I produced a negative evaluation. Nonetheless, I knew very well that if i did not generally produce results that could be interpreted positively, I would not often be hired, because my job was to tell people about what to buy, not what to avoid buying. People can do honest paid advertising: there is indeed honest advertising. But the purpose remains advertising, and the skill is how to do the work in such a way that people will think it a fair advertisement. The paid editors I know in Wikipedia tell me that in general they have difficulty finding enough business, and are forced to turn down most requests because they know they cannot produce an honest job: one of them has left for another profession--others do this as a minor part of paid PR. I know people who write bios of professors hired by universities--they are always positive. Now, it is true that someone who was not an excellent academic would not get an article on WP, but the emphasis is different. A proper academic biography here presents a description of. the person's work, and is not devoted to explaining how good they are; a proper PR writeup for a university is devoted to explaining how good someone is, and how the university was fortunate enough to be able to hire them. It is not all that difficult to convert on for to another, and I've done it if the person is excellent enough and interesting enough to me to be worth the trouble. But I would not trust myself to do it properly for money. Money is important, and writing for money is a potentially honest activity, but it has no place on Wikipedia . Any work done for this reason needs to be carefully evaluated--and almost always rewritten--by experienced editors here who are fully aware of the origins of the item.
    The place where this is done is AfC. Before we had AfC, it was very tedious to pick out those articles that needed this scrutiny, and any look at out earlier articles will show how many got missed. We still miss them--reviewers are sometimes careless or inadequate, but much less often. Most paid work submitted to AfC is never accepted, even when it would in theory be possible to have an article. We need this as a first line of defense. (And I would as a minimum modify the immediately prior statement of exception, to when 10 consecutive articles over a period of a year have all been accepted without significant changes by the review or subsequently---and that very rarely happens. the exception would be so rare and so difficult to administer that we'd be better off without it.)
Problems in review have been pointed out, and they're real enough, for I spend considerable time looking for. just such problems and trying to instruct the reviews. But the reviews are now not any random editor, but are subject to selection, and inadequate ones get taught to do it properly or removed. Where we need to put our effort is in better, faster, and more consistent reviews, and in providing real help, not just a form acceptance or rejection. We need more of our best people reviewing, and more of us checking other people's reviews. Even so, the delays are about half of what they were a year ago, and that's no accident: a few of us make a special effort to look at the reviews they day they are submitted--both to remove the impossible before they accumulalte, but much more significantly, to immediately accept the clearly acceptable. The reviews that take the longest are those topics where nobody is interested, or nobody competent to judge. DGG ( talk ) 00:58, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
I am 100% in favor of requiring paid editors (except Wikipedians in residence at academic/cultural institutions) to use the AFC process for all new articles, and I think that the wording should be clear and unambiguous. Yes, AFC has had problems, and yes, we will always have to deal with undisclosed paid editors. We need to try to do better rather than leaving any loopholes. In addition, paid editors should be explicitly forbidden from editing articles about their employers/clients, except for reverting indisputable vandalism or flagrant BLP violations. Edit requests are the way to go in the vast majority of situations. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:56, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Articles for Creation is a failure, just like previous incarnations such as Nupedia and the Incubator – there are hundreds of articles there which are months old and so no-one with any sense submits work there. Its name is Orwellian, as it is really Articles for Delay, Denial and Deletion, and its whole conception is contrary to the spirit of Wikipedia which is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, which welcomes imperfection and which is not a bureaucracy. Javerts and jobsworths are a bigger problem than paid editors as they threaten to smother the entire project with such creepy rules and regulations. Andrew🐉(talk) 09:28, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    Andrew Davidson, the queue sizes are indeed an issue, and so many get around AfC, but if you look at many of the articles in the AfC queue which clearly aren't acceptable it's clear to me that AfC is a success. The load in AfC is just representative of the load we are saving from AfD + the articles that likely would've gotten past NPP. Can AfC be done more efficiently? Probably. A bot which can do quick-fails, or flag stuff to be quick-failed, might make queue sizes smaller. But no doubt AfC is a net plus. There's imperfection, and then there's stuff so hopeless that it would almost certainly be deleted. Wikipedia today isn't Wikipedia in 2005. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 12:04, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    An article at AfC came to my attention recently: Draft:Amei Wallach. The subject seems to be a respectable author and critic and the article seems quite good compared to many or most of our biographies which are commonly perfunctory stubs such as these. But an AfC reviewer declined this draft and so it languishes in purgatory waiting to be deleted. I've no idea if anyone involved is being paid but I doubt it as the process seems so amateurish. Dr Johnson explained centuries ago that "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money" and so our processes need to be foolproof rather than expecting professional-level quality for free. My !vote stands. Andrew🐉(talk) 12:58, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Andrew and because it makes no sense to make paid editors drain even more resources from the community by making them through an expensive process. Nemo 14:32, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    • But surely this will result in their product contaminating WP. Are we really not prepared to do the work of maintaining the encyclopedia ? DGG ( talk ) 20:41, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
      • We are. The encyclopedia is maintained in namespace 0. The rest is a distraction. Nemo 14:51, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose because my comments above will likely not be considered a !vote by whomever closes this. This puts compliant paid editors at a competitive disadvantage to non-compliant ones, giving all paid editors incentive to become non-compliant. The end result will be more UPE that will be harder to find. Why do that to ourselves? Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:31, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    • This would only be reasonable if compliant paid editor usually produced satisfactory work. They generally do not. (to be fair, perhaps one article out of 20. Almost all paid work at AfC is either drastically improved or removed. Surely the ones that attempt to bypass it are even worse. )
      I'm going to make a guess that this is an unsigned comment from DGG, yes? Either way, it does nothing to address practical consequences. Whether or not the work of compliant editors is competent, it is throttled by waiting on AfC. There is literally no reason why any reasonable person who edits Wikipedia for money would want to comply with AfC review and stating "but thou must" changes nothing about that. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 20:59, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Mandatory WP:NPP yes, mandatory WP:AFC no, and I think that should be applied to every new article and every editor, except maybe auto-patrolled editors. One of the keys to these two systems is that one is mandatory and the other is voluntary. That distinction should remain. Lev!vich 19:07, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    • NPP is already not just mandatory but automatic, and always has been. But when we depended on it alone there was too much work in one place for it to be effective.. Segregatting the material least likely to be satisfactory is the only practical approach to dealing with it. DGG ( talk ) 20:41, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wug·a·po·des makes a good point and so does Andrew. Dream Focus 19:21, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
    • If we do not screen them out at AfC, we have two choices: to screen them out at New Page Patrol, or to let their work remain in WP. When we tried to do it a NPP, NPP was backed up to a extent that made it almost useless, and. the encyclopedia was contaminated with promotionalism. To suggest that sending ing the work of editors who usually produce unacceptable articles directly into WP is a preferable course, does not realize the impact upon the level of what is supposed to be a NPOV encyclopedia. ? DGG ( talk ) 20:41, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
      • If they are paid editors, then they know how to use Google news search, find two references to prove notability, and toss up an article that won't get deleted. Also any regulations would be ignored, they'd just create a new account through a proxy and post for a bit in random articles, then create new articles without admitting they were paid to do so. Dream Focus 20:48, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
        • De facto AfD still regularly deletes otherwise not G11 content for UPE/sounding too promo. 2 sources isn't enough. The concerns about UPE raised are correct so long as we don't add enforcement mechanisms. The only reason paid editing policies will keep failing is because they don't focus on how to enforce. The only way to prevent UPE is to focus on the type of content, that is it reading like promo-y or spammy paid editing, because obviously it's usually not possible to say something is definitively UPE (assuming they're not complete amateurs, which is often actually the case: people just not knowing/caring about the purpose of Wikipedia, rather than actively trying to bypass paid editing policy). ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 22:32, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
        • The claim "If they are paid editors, then they know how to..." is made without any evidence, and has no basis in fact. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:18, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Getting editors to disclose is a deep problem we have. Most paid editors already use AfC anyway, because they are newbies and have no other choice. I don't think that we should advertise that articles can directly be put into the mainspace. But I think the option should exist, especially for the more experienced paid editors. The NPP process will catch those that are garbage, and tag those that are notable but problematic. As much as I like AfC, I think the process has become broken and needs fixing or replacing.
    I think this is part of a wider group of reforms necessary around paid editing. We have a serious problem with paid editing: because we make the rules around it so onerous, the smart paid editors don't disclose. We want to make the process as easy as possible for paid editors, so that they will actually disclose. It is much easier to deal with paid editors when we know who they are. Allowing experienced paid editors to create right into the mainspace will hopefully cultivate a crop of quality disclosing paid editors. I also think we should let paid editors edit articles directly, but with some form of automatic disclosure in the edit summary, but that's another can of worms. I would much rather work with a disclosed paid editor who knew what they were doing than the garbage we usually get. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n! 01:57, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
    • It would be very good to develop a group of competent paid editors, but I think it impossible. As I explained, anyone writing for pay will write what their employer wants, which will usually not be actually untruthful, but is most unlikely be NPOV. At best, WP will become an encyclopedia with a sympathetic-to-the subject- but-fair POV, which is a reasonable definition of good PR. Is what the world really needs another place for PR? DGG ( talk ) 02:12, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must I am generally sympathetic to the Eek/Wugapodes POV that we can't make things too onerous on disclosed paid editors otherwise they'll just turn into UPE and at that point we should just ban paid editing and make everyone UPE. However, it is, as Cullen, notes already our norm that we want paid editing to go through AfC. So this isn't some new burden we're placing on good faith paid editors, it's what we're already expecting. We're serious enough about it that COI is a reason to send it from mainspace to AfC via WP:DRAFTIFY. I think all of us in this conversation can find examples where AfC has protected our encyclopedia - by avoiding NPOV if not outright SPAM/PROMO. I would be curious if those who are opposing this change can point to real examples where we benefited from paid editors directly creating their articles in mainspace? I can't think of any off the top of my head and indeed think the small pool of paid editors who I respect for following community norms and expectations all have a relatively easy time at AfC (and/or represent clients who volunteers have already created articles on and thus are requesting changes to mainspace articles rather than writing something new wholesale which is even better). Handling paid editors is where AfC is, on the whole, at its best and we should lean into that competency not shy away from it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 02:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Examples? I've already produced an example of AfC suppressing a respectable topic. Now, as requested, here's an example of a paid editor not going through AfC. The article is Workplace hazard controls for COVID-19 and I know about this because I reviewed it for DYK. The article was actually started in draft space, as a sandbox, but then was moved into mainspace a week later, without any formalities, and then marked as patrolled by CaptainEek, four days after that. It was then nominated for DYK where it got several reviews. In addition to these formal reviews, the page also got some attention from other editors such as Doc James. That's presumably because this is an important topic. user:John P. Sadowski (NIOSH) has been working on a variety of topics related to the pandemic and this is a good thing as they are a reasonably qualified and competent professional working for a respectable organisation. Why would we want to put bureaucratic barriers in their path when they are doing good work for the project? Delaying this work would be disruptive and so fails our core policies and guidelines such as WP:AGF; WP:BITE; WP:BOLD; WP:CIVIL and WP:IAR. The word "must" in question is clearly a dead letter as it's being ignored in such cases and so fails WP:BURO; WP:CREEP; WP:NOTLAW and WP:TLDR. Andrew🐉(talk) 10:50, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
      • I mean, WiRs are usually exempt from many extra paid editing proposals, so using a WiR as an example of a good paid editor is kinda not the best case. This policy is alluding to paid editors for companies/products/bios/etc, not the very narrow niche of WiRs and individuals working for academic institutions and/or scientific governmental organisations. Do you know of non-WiR examples? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 11:13, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
      • Andrew, thanks for pointing that out. I do not think WiRs, or others mentioned in"Wikipedians in residence, reward board" should have to go through AfC. My comments were not not about mission aligned paid editors. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:58, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
        • So, some paid editors are more equal then others, eh? And who decides that then? Supposing some rich tech company like Apple or Google decide that it would be cool to have a Wikipedian in Residence? Or a team of them? Who's to say that's not ok? But someone suggests that it has to be a governmental organisation. Like one of Putin's troll farms? Or the Chinese social media censors. Or a media balance agency created by President Trump? You see where you're going with this. Instead of Wikipedia being the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, it's the encyclopedia that privileged people can edit. And they can get paid for it too if they have the right connections. No thanks. Andrew🐉(talk) 11:51, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Convenience break 1Edit

  • Must Wikipedia is not the place for paid editors to implement spam articles; there needs to be a second opinion on articles that are conflict of interest content. Reywas92Talk 03:11, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must. Among other things, that would force to AfC reviewers take checking paid editing disclisures and complying with the terms of use requirements more seriously before approving an AfC submission. Nsk92 (talk) 10:59, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree that requiring paid editors to go through AfC would simply encourage them to not disclose their paid status. If we as a community are serious about vetting new pages before they're "live", it would be more effective to make everyone go through AfC. If this requirement is passed, I would like the proposed exception for WiRs (being one myself). I'm not active in page deletion though, so I'm not aware of the extent of the "damage" done by other paid editors. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 17:00, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm neutral about this, as new page patrol and draftification, combined with the technical restriction from WP:ACPERM, should already be sufficient to deal with paid editors creating mainspace articles. Those who have the technical ability to do so are either already violating policies or properly disclosing their compensation details. The rule has absolutely no effect on policy-abiding new paid editors; it only affects experienced users or those gaming the autoconfirmation system (almost always sockpuppets, meatpuppets or blatant advertising-only accounts whose contributions are covered by A7, G5, G11 or G12). ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:24, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • MUST - how else are we going to know what's going on. They not only need to disclose, they should be required to submit their via AfC to relax the COI issues. It certainly shouldn't be the sole responsibility of NPP as we are already over-burdened with backlogs. It will also help slow down these mass creations by editors looking forward to their next almighty dollar. Atsme Talk 📧 18:56, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Wugapodes. Forcing people to go through a process with huge backlogs will drive good paid editors away (and yes, those do exist) while bad-faith paid editors will just ignore it. AFC is not Wikipedia. It has its place for those who want to use it but it should not be mandatory for those who prefer Wikipedia as it was made what it is today, an encyclopedia anyone can edit. That is why forced draftification is equally a bad idea. Spammy new articles will already be caught by NPP in most cases with multiple speedy deletion criteria on hand to sort out the worst of it but if a paid editor creates an NPOV article about a notable subject that warrants inclusion, allowing them to do so is indeed in the project's best interest. Regards SoWhy 19:21, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment As an AfC reviewer, PAID/COI editors make up a large number of our current backlog and it grows daily. Do I prefer this to having them run rampant undisclosed in mainspace, yes! However, and this is perhaps my main point PAID/COI editors are relatively easy to spot, because the tone of their articles runs contrary to Wikipedia tone. You can sniff out a WP:DUCK pretty easy. Whether they disclose or not, they will be found and we will block them. Bkissin (talk) 21:29, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Tiny point: if paid editors were that easy to spot, we would not need this discussion. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 21:37, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This will increase the number of paid editors who will not disclose, and thus actually exacerbate this issue. It is good in theory, but only if all paid editors disclose. They know very well their article will get declined at AfC, and will never disclose, thus leading to more COI articles, except now without a disclosure at all. --IWI (talk) 03:28, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
  • A while back we made a technical intervention to stem the tide of problematic new articles (multiple in fact: autoconfirmed, npp, etc.). If it has not sufficiently done so, and people aren't sure (as I am not) that this rule will solve the problem, maybe it's time to take the community's pulse on The Evil Thing we maybe dancing around: again raising the bar for page creation. e.g. Require extended confirmed to create pages in mainspace for all users, then maybe rework the relationship (or even consolidate) NPP and AfC. By the time someone makes 500 edits we'll have a good sense of whether they can be trusted to create pages. Or perhaps not ECO but a different user right that has to be requested/manually applied based on evidence of competent article creation akin to autopatrolled. I'm not necessarily saying I would support that, but it minimizes the question of self-disclosure and seems worth discussing another technical intervention. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:45, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Coming back to this to formalize it: Oppose as written. Too broad a brush, not enough nuance/exception (for e.g. Wikipedians in Residence), and I have a hard time predicating this on the reliability of AfC. Open to other ideas, though. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:39, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose #1 I consider AfC to be a non-ideal thing. I was going to go with "failure" but it isn't quite that bad. Still, I don't like the idea of forcing anyone to use a broken thing. #2 This will just drive paid editors to lie. Hobit (talk) 05:06, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
  • They should Paid editors have already written advertisements on this site before. Look at this [1] mess (ignore the criticism section, as that was added by other editors later). The amount of advertising and self-promotion is astounding. While I cleaned this up, there are far worse examples. Look at this [2]. It is completely an advertisement. If you saw it on a billboard, you wouldn't be surprised. Paid editors need to disclose their status, or this happens. I-82-I | TALK 02:02, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must paid editors mostly create articles according to the instructions given by their clients, so, for the sake of naturality they must put their article through AfC. GSS💬 08:06, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Must paid editors create articles according to the clients request and specifications do feel they should go though AFC after coming through AFC the issues of COI and NPOV will be over as the articles will be thoroughly reviewed.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 14:53, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Do they get special treatment because they are paid, which itself is a form of bias. However, it doesn't address the increasing number of paid editors that are subverting Wikipedia from the inside-out, almost like a 5th-column. scope_creepTalk 08:26, 1 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - especially (but not only) in the case of Wikimedians in Residence (of which I am one) and curators, staff trained at a Wikimedian in Residence event, etc. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:23, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    • Question: What are we going to do, if this passes, and a paid editor makes a valid disclosure, then creates a good, neutral, verifiable article, citing numerous reliable sources, about a notable subject, without using AfC? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:07, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must, with an explicit exception for Wikimedians in Residence, if only for the sake of clarity. 'Should' is always a bit woolly - it suggests good practice, but leaves a lot of questions unanswered like 'under what circumstances is it OK not to', or 'what happens if I just ignore this?'. If we need to have a rule (and I think we do), it should be clear and easy to understand, so that everyone, including new paid editors looking to get their clients' page picked up by Google, Wikimedians in Residence writing in good faith about subjects related to their employers, and sysops who are expected to take action when rules are flouted, knows exactly where they stand. GirthSummit (blether) 10:37, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must. Let's not leave the door open to Wikilawyering. Paid editors are already working for a purpose orthogonal to that of Wikipedia. Guy (help! - typo?) 10:38, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I wouldn't recommend the AfC process in general (too slow/bureaucratic/conservative), it definitely shouldn't be obligatory for anyone to have to use it. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:40, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose forcing anything through AFC. No disrespect meant to any of the individual volunteers at AFC, but I think it's a broken process. I agree with User:Andrew Davidson who sees acceptable articles being rejected, and with User:Mike Peel who describes AFC as "too slow/bureaucratic/conservative". AFC should be a voluntary process only, with the option of bypassing it for those who disagree with the way it works, and should not be an obligatory part of the article creation process for registered users. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:56, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose strongly any proposal that forces the use of AfC, as it will act as nothing but a deterant, and will ultimately see a rise in the number of non-disclosing paid editors. The knock-on effects to WiR and those they work with would be stark, and while some commenters have proposed they would not be effected, an interpretation of the rewording could be welded against them - echoing Andy Mabbett's comments above, this is ultimately damage the work of many great WiRs and the work they are able to do for the benefit of the project as a whole. Smirkybec (talk) 11:02, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose: AFC is not suitable for this purpose, it takes a very long time to have an article reviewed and in my experience many perfectly good articles get rejected for minor issues. Adding additional barriers to to good faith contributors would further discourage disclosing paid editing and/or encourage ignoring other rules. John Cummings (talk) 11:04, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unnecessary bureaucracy and gatekeeping, and requiring a cumbersome process will encourage noncompliance. Gamaliel (talk) 11:33, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose AFC is a failed and over bureaucratized, gatekeeping process, newcomers , who are likely to get bitten, often get frustrated or lost in the system -- why would we add yet more "required" content to that mess that delays the quality of that experience? The system is supposed to be there to help them get more high quality content through, which it clearly does not -- I don't see the added benefit here. Sadads (talk) 12:06, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • MUST. Further, PAID and other COI editors MUST disclose at the top of their main userpage, and on the talk page of any COI page they create or edit. When accepted, COI editors must only suggest edits on the talk page, not edit the page directly. Exceptions such as reversion of vandalism allowed. Anything less is a joke. The problem of AfC having too high standards for acceptance should be dealt with separately. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:23, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment this RfC which will effect all of English Wikipedia is being run on the conflict of interest notice board, I don't think this is a good place to run the discussion, it is not a neutral or very widely used discussion space compared to other options. John Cummings (talk) 12:29, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    I came here from a link in the latest Admin newsletter, so that will give it some wider publicity. Maybe post a link at WP:AN or use a watchlist notification? (No idea how to do the latter, mind). Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:50, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    John Cummings: This is the talk page for the guideline, not the noticeboard; since it is the guideline that will be affected, this struck me as the most appropriate place to discuss. It was advertised at CENT and VPP (Special:Diff/974164799), and as noted, reported in the recent admin newsletter. Feel free to post additional neutral notifications to other venues as suggested. –xenotalk 13:10, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Support current 'must' wording. It's simpler for nominators of AfDs if they can just say an article appears to have CoI and didn't come through AfC and that reflects what happens anyway. I don't support a requirement that non-CoI articles should go through the overloaded AfC process. — Charles Stewart (talk) 13:08, 2September 2020 (UTC)
  • MUST is the very minimum. I fought long and hard for years to get some quality of reviewing introduced to AfC and NPP even if it wasn't all that successful. At least we got ACPERM out of it. 'Must' doesn't go nearly far enough, but it's a start. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:29, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must - it's a key level of oversight. GiantSnowman 13:43, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose even with a carve-out exemption for Wikimedians in Residence (the classiciation of which is not well-defined at all, so that's a problem in itself). Articles for Creation has never been, and was never intended to be, a mandatory process in our community. To make it a requirement for users is a massive shift and an overreach of its scope and intent. Also, this COI page has drifted into a messy amalgalm of advice over the years, and this proposed addition is only the latest example. The paid editing bullet list of do's and don'ts contain a mix of "may," "must," "strong discouraged," and "must not" that has no coherence, and the latest unilateral, undiscussed change by DGG only adds to this confusion, and deserves a wet WP:TROUT. As others have noted, this will not discourage black hat editors or underground behavior, and in the process you'll be assuming bad faith and discouraging entire swaths of folks who have valuable content to contribute, respect our guidelines, but are not "Wikimedians in Residence." It should be noted that other major editions of Wikipedia have allowed and collaborated with "paid editors" in French, Italian, Swedish, etc. See the presentation we did at Wikimania 2014 on this exact topic – there are many ways of interacting with paid editors that don't necessitate this assume terrible faith stance. [3] [4] -- Fuzheado | Talk 13:46, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose I have several issues with this. First, as someone (and maybe some persons) said earlier, this sort of additional bureacracy will only encourage folks to not disclose COIs. They'd get really sneaky and pretend to be your average ordinary editor who just so happens to be making pages on certain topics. Additionally, how would one be able to tell if a person is a paid editor anyway? Maybe it's just a very exuberent person writing about a topic they love. Second, would this inlcude Wikimedians in Residence? I was a WiR a year or so ago, and while I did receive a honorarium, it was mostly after the fact and did not impact the articles I created or modified. What about educators or library folks who integrate Wikipedia into the classroom? Technically, that would probably count as paid editing (albeit a few steps removed from direct payment), and that seems very problematic. Overall, I think this would just turn into Wiki over-reach of editors freedom to create pages; if someone understands the rules of the site, discloses COIs and then plays by the site's guidelines, I don't think folks should be constantly looking over their shoulders the entire time.--Gen. Quon (Talk) 14:43, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Additional point: I think AfC is a terrible headache, especially for newcomers. I've seen many exuberent fledgling Wikipedians submit an article that is rough but has clear potential, only for it to get a super-quick rubber-stamped NO. Frankly, it's a joke. If we were to go down this route, we'd need also need robust mentorships and the like.--Gen. Quon (Talk) 14:45, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must Per Jayron; the additional oversight and clarity will be helpful. SpencerT•C 15:03, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If this passes it means we must have an AFC process to service it and I don't think AFC should exist at all. It causes more problems than it solves. This sounds great in theory, but as others have pointed out, the problem editors will just ignore it, and the useful editors will have their work thrown into the black hole of an ever-growing backlog. SpinningSpark 15:20, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must per User:MER-C. It is an open invitation to put whatever company blurb their employers want, which will not be seen, or vetted, until someone stumbles upon the article. An AfC allows an experienced editor to vet the entry beforehand. The complaint that they would not disclose PAID in that case is moot, as they can do so now at AfC that way. Paid or not, they still must comply with all the appropriate article editing rules, and the AfC process will make sure they comply. Will there be a backlog to AfC (more than now)? Yes. Their employers might complain the article "is not up in a timely manner" as they paid for. Who cares? WP is not their advertisement venue, and should never be. -- Alexf(talk) 15:26, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
Their employers might complain the article "is not up in a timely manner" as they paid for. Who cares? Um. We should. We should care a lot, Alexf. Any compliant paid editors will be at a competitive disadvantage if they follow our rules if this passes. The inevitable result is to greatly encourage even those that want to be compliant to be non-compliant. There is no reason to expect that this will be effective and it just means that we feel righteous while paid advertising becomes harder to find. So we really should care what the financial incentives we create are. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:31, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must: Like Rhododendrites, I'm also not completely sure if this will solve the problem or if a stronger measure like ECP for page creation is needed. But I still support the proposal: if it works, great, if it doesn't, we can always discuss the matter again for better options. And the stories of enormous backlog at AfC are exaggerated: good drafts usually get accepted within a week or less (my draft Ramnami Samaj was accepted within 2 minutes), the ones that linger are usually borderline cases or obvious paid stuff that no one volunteer wants to touch (maybe because WP:BOGOF). I'm always willing to try to improve the work of other volunteers, but if paid editors can't be bothered to write articles that get accepted quickly without needing any changes by volunteers, they shouldn't get to post their crap on Wikipedia. Regards, TryKid[dubiousdiscuss] 15:53, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Articles for Creation is an utterly broken mechanism already; forcing use of this non-functional area would be straight out of the Vogon playbook. "Sure, you can build your own car! long as you use nothing but a screwdriver and a hammer..." Carrite (talk) 15:57, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment I've already made my position clear above, and I don't want to badger any individual opposer. It seems to me though that many of the oppose votes would work equally against the original 'should' wording, which makes me wonder whether this is really the AfC we should be having. Must seems better to me than should, because it's unambiguous - you have to do it. If people are saying that it should be optional in order to encourage paid editors to disclose, then ought we not to have an RfC to decide between "You must put your article through AfC" and "You may wish to consider putting your article through AfC for review, but this is not obligatory"? Either it is, or it isn't - should is a woolly halfway house. GirthSummit (blether) 16:33, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    Girth Summit: As "generally meant to be best practices for following those standards in specific contexts", don't all guidelines occupy that space: describing generally accepted editing practices that don't approach the obligatoriness of a policy? –xenotalk 18:12, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    veno This is a policy though, not a guideline. We don't say 'you probably ought not to make personal attacks', or 'on the whole, it's better if content is verifiable' - we make it very clear what is, and is not, OK, and then support the policies with guidelines that flesh out those basic concepts. GirthSummit (blether) 18:29, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    It's not a policy though (at least not right now). We have WP:PAID (which is a policy), and then this guideline riding on the coattails. –xenotalk 18:34, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    Xeno, apologies - the title of the thread confused me! You're right. Still, my main point is that I feel that a lot of the opposers feel that it's fine for people to not do this.  GirthSummit (blether) 18:47, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must with a carve-out exemption for Wikipedians in Residence. In general, I'm reticent to attach too many requirements on paid editors for fear of pushing them underground where there is no possibility of regulation or oversight. However, I'm not sure this proposal would do that. I have reviewed and executed a number of requests for edits from several noteworthy paid editors who are scrupulous in following the letter and spirit of our guidelines and also are legitimately contributing important content that would otherwise not get updated (many companies meet our loose GNG but no one is really interested in sitting on the article and updating the name of the CEO anytime it changes, for instance). In fact, I would say I'm probably more "paid editor friendly" than most of us. However, I also recognize that these are the exception and, more often than not, paid editors are problematic. I don't know this proposal will necessarily solve that issue - the issue of problem paid editors - but it at least removes another of the multiple levels of ambiguity layered on our policies. Chetsford (talk) 16:53, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    • No one step will actually solve the issue. This, along with greater awareness and scrutiny, and stricter requirements for notability in some fields, will improve it. It will never go away completely on an open wiki that does not have a real name policy, and those are two of our basic values. I agree it is safe to exempt WiRs--I think in the history of WP there has been only one questionable use of he WIR position, from a research institute at Harvard (for what it's worth, i was a wir in the past, but an unpaid one), DGG ( talk ) 00:18, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      • Oppose carve out for WiRs. If the WiR is paid, has a paid WP:COI, then absolutely they should use AfC. Also, carve-outs create a precedent for creative exceptions, and if it is to rely on trust, this will break it, if it is every made to work. Note that AfC does not require draft authors to wait quietly while their draft progresses through the AfC queue, they are free to ask any AfC reviewer, and indeed are free to ask any second editor in good standing to mainspace their draft. An independent set of eyes is all that's demanded. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:21, 3 September 2020 (UTC)

Convenience break 2Edit

  • Oppose I'm a librarian in an art school and I create and edit WP articles relevant to the school and the broader South Australian contemporary arts scene as part of my duties. I was initially wary of responding to this but I was encouraged to do so by fellow Wikibrarians. I am not a Wikimedian-in-Residence so a carve-out for WIR would not help me. I have the COI on my user page and on the relevant articles (I also edit as a volunteer on other topics so the COI is not relevant to everything I do). Being required to put my articles through AFC would be an additional barrier and would not solve the problem of bad faith paid editors or UPE who would simply ignore the requirement. I suspect that I would not be the only librarian in this position. As it is, I find that the articles I create are usually reviewed quickly and challenged if there is a problem - I don't see that happening if they were to go through AFC. Uberlibris (talk) 02:11, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
    • Uberlibris. You are paid to contribute to Wikipedia? Do they tell you what to write? Or are you encouraged to contribute to Wikipedia in the time available after fulfilling your primary role? When contributing, do you contribute to coverage of the people who pay you, and their products? I suspect you COI does not put you in very much conflict, and you are probably an exemplar Wikipedian. Have you put articles through AfC? Was is much of a barrier? AfC could use this feedback. I suspect that you are on the borderline of a broad interpretation of WP:PAID, and outside its intent. Nevertheless, you should be able to use AfC without it being a barrier.
      I do agree with you that none of this will "solve the problem of bad faith paid editors or UPE who would simply ignore the requirement". For that, I think Wikipedia needs to counter the easy cheapness of making throwaway accounts. I think the easiest way to do this is to require every account registration to be verified via a code sent to a phone, and that phone number being available forever to the checkusers. No one with access to the internet does not have access to a phone to receive a code. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:44, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      • SmokeyJoe, my employer asked me to add articles to Wikipedia on the school and its faculty and actually, for a few years, I resisted doing that until I discovered that other staff were doing it anyway and making a mess of it. At that point, I decided - and my boss agreed - that it should be my responsibility. It's one of several projects that I have for my work-at-home days (part of disability accommodations pre-COVID). However, my employer does not tell me what to write. I research and plan the articles and, if there is insufficient independent sources for a particular faculty member, then I don't write the article. As for AFC, I put the first article I wrote through AFC and it sat there for so long, I ended up reaching out to a friend who is a Wikipedia editor to get it into mainspace for me. I haven't used AFC since as I don't want to be hassling other editors to get my work through. I don't know what the solution to bad faith editors (either paid or unpaid) is but I don't think it's this. Uberlibris (talk) 03:43, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
        Uberlibris, I wouldn't even consider you a "paid editor". You may have a bit of a COI though. -- œ 03:53, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
        Uberlibris, like many librarians, curators, and Wikimedians in Residence, and many of the colleagues that those people train to edit, meets the definition of paid editing used on this project. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:15, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
        • œ Isn't the point of declaring WP:PAID to prevent COI? Uberlibris (talk) 04:04, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
          Yes. I just meant to say that in my opinion the WP:COI policy applies more to you than WP:PAID. -- œ 04:27, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
          Declaring a conflict of interest doesn't prevent it; it just makes it known so others can take it into account. And by the terms of use, since editing Wikipedia is part of your duties, your related edits are considered to be paid contributions. isaacl (talk) 16:21, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
    • is having to go through AFC an additional barrier to your paid editing work? You are getting paid to do the work, there's no barrier. You get paid, you do the work. It might take you a little longer, but you are stil collecting a salary while waiting, which presumably trumps any "barrier". BTW I believe there is sort of COI exemption somewhere for WP:GLAM particpants. I can never remeber the exact policy but if you poke around you may find it. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 03:17, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      • ThatMontrealIP The issue is the length of time it takes. If one were guaranteed a turnaround time of, say, a week, it wouldn't be an issue. After all, what's the point of writing something, if it then languishes in AFC for an unknown length of time? One then has to reach out to other editors to ensure a timely turnaround. As for the GLAM exception you mention, I know the one you are talking about. It refers to librarians, curators and archivists producing articles based on their institutions' collections. However, there is still an understanding that WP:PAID comes into play if you are writing about your institution. So if i use my library's collection to write or an article on the SALA Festival, that comes within the exception. But if I write an article on Roy Ananda who has just been selected for the next SALA Festival monograph and is a lecturer at my institution, then that is something I should declare. I have been told that I should ask other editors to write these articles but, frankly, I'm in a better position to write them because I have the resources of an entire art library to do it. And, if I don't find sufficient independent sources, I don't write the article. Uberlibris (talk) 04:00, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
        • @Uberlibris: I appreciate that your institution is contributing some of its resources to Wikipedia, by facilitating your contributions. But just because you would like these contributuions to appear more quickly is not a reason to loosen requirements across the board that are meant to prevent abuse. If librarians are concerned, they should not be. Librarians and GLAM poeple are not the ones who we are worried about. By all means let's have GLAM and WIR exceptions. ThatMontrealIP (talk) 06:54, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
          • ThatMontrealIP - Putting forth AfC as a best practice for community contribution is highly problematic when we know it falls far short. Not only does it have an unreasonable delay for new contributors but it also erects contribution hurdles that are inconsistent with our policies. Articles are routinely turned down when topics are clearly notable but exhibit particular issues of style, format, or tone. These are normally handled by hatnotes or warning templates, or other volunteers pitching in to help. But at AfC, they are treated as rejections, often with marginal help or guidance to the user. By making perfect the enemy of good, AfC is a major hindrance to good faith contributors in librarians, archivists, academics, and professionals. We have been living in this yin/yang world of two different realities, with an uneasy but somewhat stable coexistence – AfC is recommended to online newbies in the new user signup process (a problematic decision to be discussed at another time). But most edit-a-thon trainers doing one-on-one instruction bypass it altogether and tell users to avoid it. (AfC has a certain reputation among instructors and teachers of Wikipedia.) Oftentimes experienced Wikimedians will rescue turned-down AfC submissions or pluck Draft articles from the queue and bypass AfC because it can be so off-putting to the good faith users. Imposing AfC on any user is out of scope for that project, and is out of line for the wiki ethos, even with the WMF TOU provisions (of which I am a supporter). @Uberlibris and Pigsonthewing:-- Fuzheado | Talk 14:39, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
          • "Librarians and GLAM poeple [sic] are not the ones who we are worried about." Really? you might not, but just above this section, another editor asserts: If the WiR is paid, ... then absolutely they should use AfC. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:00, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      ThatMontrealIP, I'm guessing your edit to the section heading was to prevent the bot from auto-archiving? -- œ 03:40, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      @OlEnglish: nope, typo.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 06:42, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must. I don't think paid editors should be allowed to create articles at all, but since we're here "must" is definitely preferable. -- œ 03:40, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
    • So you'd stop Wikimedian in Residence, like me, and librarians, like Uberlibris, above, from creating artlices? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:15, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      No. I just have a very specific definition of what I consider a paid editor: Someone who gets told what to write, and clearly places the interests of their employer above what's good for the project. You people are great, good-faithed editors I have no issues with. -- œ 14:34, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      OlEnglish, are you planning on instituting a process where each COI editor is individually interviewed to determine who is a "paid editor" under this definition and who is not? Because the current policy definition certainly does cover people like Pigsonthewing and Uberlibris: A paid contribution is one that involves contributing to Wikipedia in exchange for money or other inducements. Either we need to change that definition or we need to somehow qualify who meets that definition and this specific definition. I see even less reason for "real" paid editors to comply with our policies either way. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 15:38, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      I'm personally not planning to do anything. But if someone does create an RFC to tighten the definition to a more stricter one I'd support. -- œ 01:40, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
      Your personal definition of a paid editor is irrelevant, in this context, and serves only to muddy the waters; it is particularly liable to be damaging when you use it to justify support for a proposition which which uses a looser definition. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:54, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      Feel free to disregard then, this isn't a hill I'm choosing to die on. Perhaps the definition should be changed, and that discussion can be had at some point in the future. -- œ 01:40, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Would disencourage non-WiR professionals working at GLAMs or other cultural institutions from editing while their contributions are high quality and a very important bridge to those communities. Being in a publicly funded job which involves enriching Wikipedia with the knowledge of your profession or institution is not the same as being paid to write marketing articles. Adam Harangozó (talk) 09:24, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes but AfC should be pruned to only PAID editors. Too many newbies are discouraged by having to wait AfC review for months. AfC should not be pushed as the first option for newbies. This will also lessen the load on this system. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:12, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
    • No it will just shift the load onto NPP, which has a backlog three times larger than AFC. Mccapra (talk) 11:07, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. AfC is unfit for purpose and so this would just incentivise non-disclosure, and further discourage all unpaid editors who use AfC. Thryduulf (talk) 13:20, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Phrasing as is offers no nuance. There's a difference between corporate accounts who have no clue how Wikipedia works and WIRs who are part of the community. I'm a WIR for a nonprofit in an alt account (Elysia (AR) and I have made 20k+ volunteer edits to Wikipedia, am autopatrolled, have several FAs, and many GAs. Who does it help to send my articles through more bureaucratic hoops? As a disclosed paid editor, I already have the motivation of not damaging my credibility and standing within the community by pushing junk, promotional articles, which would make it impossible to be an effective WIR. Enwebb (talk) 15:23, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This would disincentivize GLAM professionals from participating in Wikipedia editing. It would also disincentivize GLAM organizations from hiring WiRs - thus keeping valuable content and expertise off of Wikipedia. As a WiR myself, I'm very careful about COI and what I edit professionally and personally because my community standing matters to me, as it does to all WiRs and GLAM editors. KellyDoyle (talk) 19:14, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
@KellyDoyle: Obviously someone associated with GLAM is not the same as XYZ Disco supplies or any other copmpany trying to promote themselves on wiki. Sokme kind of exception would make sense for GLAM members. Would you support Athe FC requirement if GLAM members were exempted?ThatMontrealIP (talk) 03:03, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
Even if there were an exception for GLAMs and WiRs I would still oppose. AfC doesn't make sense for this purpose and would discourage good faith edits and would simply mean that paid editing isn't disclosed. KellyDoyle (talk) 14:39, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must for those involved with paid COI editing Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:17, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Nope I oppose on the basis that it would greatly reduce the number of articles by Wikimedia affiliates doing outreach to attract more diverse articles and contributors. And it would do nothing to stop the people who are deliberately breaking the rules by spamming and scamming. Sydney Poore/FloNightUser talk:FloNight 18:08, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. AfC is not currently a functional process, despite some heroic individual attempts to deal with the queue. The fundamental solution is disclosure, not forcing people to jump through a series of hoops that are unsustainable, and that only discourage good faith contributors.--Pharos (talk) 18:19, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • STRONG SHOULD and MUST EXCEPT WP:Ignore all rules might be about the same thing. "STRONG SHOULD" means "if you don't, and anyone objects, you'll be raked over the coals for it." "MUST EXCEPT WP:Ignore all rules" means "If you don't, and anyone objects, you'll be raked over the coals for it." In other words, if you are a paid editor creating content directly in the main encyclopedia, your case for not using AFC better be very compelling, regardless of the actual verbiage of the guideline. That said, I think "must" sends a stronger signal and leaves less room for misinterpretation than "should" where the "strong" is implied. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 19:30, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Must Clarity is important. The objections that we cannot create a rule because some people will ignore or break is a very poor, unconvincing argument (then why make any rules at all?). I am also not persuaded that we need to make special exceptions for WiRs and others in similar positions; it sounds like many people do not understand that those people do have inherent conflicts-of-interest even while they are doing good work and are largely mindful of their COIs. (I could be convinced otherwise if the argument is that they have the training and ongoing oversight to adequately address these COIs; the arguments so far do not seem to be making that point.) ElKevbo (talk) 14:59, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose This would do way more harm than good, especially to GLAM partnerships. Lirazelf (talk) 11:50, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment There an awful lot of !votes from WiRs above - has this discussion been mentioned in an email list or similar? I had a brief look for on-wiki notices but couldn't see any. @ElKevbo, KellyDoyle, and Enwebb: as some of the most recent. SmartSE (talk) 12:27, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
I have no affiliation with the WiR project. In fact, I'm quite concerned that the WiR project itself runs afoul of our COI policies. ElKevbo (talk) 12:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
I dislike this insinuation that something inappropriate has occurred if Wikimedians in Residence have participated. This talk page was highlighted in this month's Wikipedia:Administrators'_newsletter, which is delivered on numerous user talk pages, which explains why it got so much more exposure to all Wikipedian editors on all channels. -- Fuzheado | Talk 13:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Anyone with the Centralised Discussion template on their userpage - like me - will have seen this. Lirazelf (talk) 14:45, 9 September 2020
  • Smartse, I did not come here through canvassing, nor have I inappropriately (or at all, actually) encouraged others to comment. No one has responded to my point above--maybe you have an opinion: who benefits from sending my work through the AfC queue? This one-size-fits-all approach treats me, with 20+ FAs/GAs and who knows how many hundreds of hours volunteered, the same as a corporate hack. Seems like a waste of time for me and the AfC reviewer, for little (if any) benefit to the project. Enwebb (talk) 01:48, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
    There an awful lot of !votes from WiRs above - I mean, Wikipedians in Residence are Wikipedians. They're going to see one of the most prominently advertised discussions across the project right now, and might weigh in if it's relevant like any other Wikipedians. There are an awful lot of !votes period. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 02:36, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per comments above, this proposal could have consequences that likely cause unintended problems -- back logs and obfuscation that may not actually address / solve the issue, but create more disincentives to participate / follow the rules among COI editors. Shameran81 (talk) 11:55, 9 September 2020
  • Comment – It's important to maintain the integrity of the encyclopedia by having the work of paid editors checked over by others to eliminate promotional content. However, AFC has always had a huge backlog. Those who want to funnel more content through it should consider helping out with the vetting. I disagree that there are few new notable topics, though – thank goodness the world is an exciting place with many new discoveries, inventions, creations, and accomplishments. —Anne Delong (talk) 22:39, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment I think they should go under a special process,which will be made up of community-trusted editors which will ensure that the article have little to no COI stuff,make it look more enyclopedic.--YerelDahi (talk) 09:52, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Andrew Davidson: AFC is a failed process, and requiring AFC would discourage disclosure. feminist (talk) 13:50, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose pointless (and indeed probably counter-effective) WP:BURO. The way to deal with bad content is deletion and cleanup, not dragging good content to a process that does not even work. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 15:12, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must in all cases, including WiR. No paid editor should be editing mainspace on the subject about which they are paid except in the cases of blatant and obvious vandalism or clear BLP issues. Anything else must go through review by an editor who does not have a COI. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:27, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Must I'd made my case the best I could at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 158#Paid editing. Please excuse me for directing you elsewhere but the change that precipitated this RFC was made while that discussion was ongoing, and I regard it compulsory reading for the closer or any other editor seeking to gather the context in full. Regards! Usedtobecool ☎️ 13:28, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposed change will effectively prevent professionals employed by our GLAM partners—both Wikipedians-in-Residence themselves and the other staff whom they've trained—from contributing to Wikipedia on their employers' time. Such a restriction doesn't serve the goals of the project in any way, and will only undo the progress we've made in having Wikipedia accepted as an equal partner and ally in the broader world of educational and knowledge institutions. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 15:22, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
When did we decide that WIRs and others in GLAM projects and activities are exempt from our COI policies and practices? This is a real question, not an attempt to be obnoxiously argumentative. I don't recall seeing any substantive discussion about COI in the context of WIRs and GLAM and that's a discussion that sorely needs to happen outside and beyond this RfC no matter how it's resolved. If it has already happened and I didn't see it, please (a) let me know where it is archived and (b) accept my apologies for having missed it.) ElKevbo (talk) 15:50, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
ElKevbo, the language in this guideline regarding Wikipedians-in-Residence ("There are forms of paid editing that the Wikimedia community regards as acceptable. These include Wikipedians in residence (WiRs)—Wikipedians who may be paid to collaborate with mission-aligned organizations, such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums.") has been there, largely unchanged, since 2015; it was inserted following this 2014 discussion and this 2015 discussion. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 18:51, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
Hmm, I participated in both those conversations... The second one wasn't actually about Wikipedians in residence; it just mentioned them in passing. In the 2014 discussion, I pointed to the "core characteristics of a Wikipedian in Residence" from the Wikipedian in Residence page on the outreach wiki. The page has recently been turned into a redirect, but here's the version before it became a redirect which has the core characteristic I was referring to: "Facilitates the improvement of content by the Wikipedia community, rather than directly editing articles as a core goal." Ideally, Wikipedians in residence aren't creating articles about their employer or its domain. isaacl (talk) 20:57, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
Thanks so much for the quick and helpful response! ElKevbo (talk) 22:16, 22 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I stongly object to any policy that makes AfC mandatory for anyone. Nor do I think the AfC reviewers ar are particularly well qualified to deal with disclosed paid editing anyway. Yaratmayıcı's idea of a special process is interesting, but it would need to be fleshed out before I could support it. AfC was designed from the start to be a helpful and optional way for an editor of limited experience to get assistance with the task of creating an article. Far from all drafts turn into valid approved articles, but quite a few do, and they are useful additions. Making AfC into a coo-containment device will only reduce confidence in it, and cause normal volunteer editors to avoid it, and increase the backlogs. And as for those (like DGG if I understand his comments correctly) who say that all paid editing is tainted, I call to your attention Daxbot created by a disclosed paid editor, and a newcomer to the project, and approved by me recently. I see no taint there. DES (talk)DESiegel Contribs 19:35, 23 September 2020 (UTC)
Look again, DESiegel . The name of the product is used too much: once in each sentence. That's a standard promotional device characteristic of paid editors. I wouldn't reject an article for that alone, but if I accepted it I would fix it--in fact, whenever I come across such writing I fix it. Treating it as a danger signal, I looked more carefully at the references: 7 out of 10 references are from local sources discussing a local company; they even say in the headline that's why they're covering it. Two are from the company. The remaining one is a promotional interview in a trade paper, the very sort that is not accepted as independent according to WP:NCORP, and reading it, it's typical of such: the head of the firm says whatever he pleases about the virtues of his project and the future for it. (I'd be suspicious of an article like this in fact based only on the subject matter--it seems too minor) I would not have accepted the article in its present form, and I don't think it passes notability. That's more than what I would call "tainted", I think "contaminated " is closer. See [[5]].
But I agree with you that nonetheless, it's relatively clean for paid editing. Most are far worse. However, I probably could find from among our 6 million articles, of which probably about 1 million are promotional, and I'd guess at least 100,000 by paid editors, at least one which is in fact satisfactory as first submitted. Probably more than 1, perhaps even 100. That's 1 in a thousand, not counting the great majority of such articles that have gotten rejected. I think we reject 90% of paid editing nowadays. That gives us one in ten thousand edits by paid editors that are acceptable. Admittedly these are ballpark estimates, but alter each figure by any reasonable factor, and it's still going to produce almost no decent article. I consider that sufficient reason for banning it altogether. At the very least, it's reason for watching them very much more carefully than we've been doing.
But all this applies to me as a reviewer as well: I know I've carelessly or when working too fast passed articles I should have. And, like you, I'm very concerned about the ones I rejected that weren't all that bad, or that could be fixed, and especially those from naïve new editors copying the formats they see here. I know we both feel that discouraging a new good faith editor is something we must avoid, even when their first article is not satisfactory. It's a difficult balance: discourage new editors and we collapse from stagnancy; permit dubious articles and we degenerate into promotionalism. We can't avoid mistakes, and we have to rely to some extent on probabilities, in this case the the 0.01% probability that a paid article is not encyclopedic. In any field I know, that's not significantly different from zero. DGG ( talk ) 00:22, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I strongly oppose this requirement. As someone who works in a GLAM and has fought hard to find and fund Wikipedians-in-Residence, we don't need more hurdles for the people who are close to our trusted resources to write about them. I work on equity projects around gender and race in the U.S. and have experienced incidences of articles being taken down during the review process. One time this happened at an edit-a-thon and the person who happened to be a staff member at the National Museum of African American History and Culture wrote an article about Lois_K._Alexander_Lane, founder of the Black Fashion Museum in Harlem. She submitted her article as was recommended as a 'newbee' and it was immediately flagged for take-down despite good resources. I realize notability is a separate issue, but please consider how this would impact GLAM professionals and WIR at GLAM institutions. We don't need more hurdles when it's already hard to find resources to do this important work. Yes my WIR is paid but her work is not to write articles about the GLAM we work for. And when people ask her to do so, we educate them on why this is not good practice with respect to the community. --Digitaleffie (talk) 11:49, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Would encourage non-disclosure and also hinder the "good apple" PAID editors like the GLAM editors with cumbersome requirements. Jason Quinn (talk) 12:55, 1 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppoase Would further hinder the most important thing which is disclosure. Further, while it might seem like a maybe for the classic case (pure simple 100% paid editing) the wording in policies expands this into something which has its tentacles everywhere. North8000 (talk) 12:54, 27 October 2020 (UTC)

Policy changed to be against WP terms of useEdit

This doesn't look right: Pigsonthewing has changed some of the must/should requirements for paid editing. Notably they have changed "must disclose" on talk page/user page/article to "should". That seems to be the opposite of what the Wikipedia terms of use says: "You must make that disclosure in at least one of the following ways..." I was going to revert at least the first instance, but first let's see what others say.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 15:20, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

If the WMF TOU say, "at least one of the following ways" then the paid editing section should be consistent. I'd suggest a rewording of the this page to reflect just that - a list of options. Saying you "must make the disclosure on your user page, on affected talk pages, and whenever you discuss the topic" as a string of AND conditions is not logically consistent with the TOU which is a list of OR conditions. -- Fuzheado | Talk 16:19, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
I was bold and used the exact wording from the Terms of Use [6] -- Fuzheado | Talk 16:27, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
@Fuzheado: I don't think that's the intention of this section as it is trying to go further than what the ToU demand. i.e. you "must" make a disclosure in some form, but you "should" make the disclosure whenever appropriate. SmartSE (talk) 16:34, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The current wording is what was there before it was changed by DGG in May: [7]. The ToU require a disclosure is made somewhere and only once, not that you must disclose it every time and in every place. Personally I think this is a weakness of the ToU rather than this guideline, since to be compliant with the ToU, making a mention of being paid once in an edit summary is sufficient. SmartSE (talk) 16:32, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
My "change" simply reverted some of those made earlier this year, with no discussion, one of which is contested in the above RfC. You'll note that my edit summary said "rv changes that were undiscussed; some currently discussed on talk page". The claim "changed to be against WP terms of use" in your subject heading is false. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:51, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
the tou is is the minimum wording. We have the right to adopt stronger requirements, and, as the Wikipedia project most under attack from paid editing, need to do so. We could , for example, ban all paid editing altogether. , or ban in in certain subjects, or require every paid editor to get pre-approval before writing an article. The only thing we can not do is to not require them to disclose at all. As for the merits, I think we should at the very least require disclosure at every possible place, so that user may be warned. What possible reason would we have for not doing so? The WMF does not make our rules, though in a few cases it has made minimum rules that all wikis must follow, such as the CC license , and avoiding libel , all or almost all of which are very widely accepted here, as they must be. In most cases, we go considerably beyond their minimum. DGG ( talk ) 19:03, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
Although technically we can layer on additional restrictions on disclosure, personally I feel it would be more straightforward to actually enact an alternate alternative paid contribution disclosure policy if the additional restrictions are significant. This would simplify documenting the disclosure requirements, thus making them easier for newcomers to understand. isaacl (talk) 22:10, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
> The only thing we can not do is to not require them to disclose at all.
DGG, are you sure about that? Are you saying that c:Commons:Paid contribution disclosure policy is invalid? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:55, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
I presume DGG was speaking in the context of complying with the policy defined in the terms of use, and not enacting an alternative paid contribution disclosure policy, as described in the terms of use. isaacl (talk) 15:33, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Or What? Actually, DGG's "the tou is is the minimum wording" is sub-minimum, because it is missing the "or what". A "must" must be couple to a consequence of failure, or it is inadequate rhetoric, or a bluff. See WT:Deletion policy/Archive 48#Undeclared Paid Editor (UPE) product where I think it is confirmed that ignoring the tou is not even a reason for deletion. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:23, 2 September 2020 (UTC)
    • "...ignoring the tou is not even a reason for deletion" Good. We don't use deletion as a punishment, nor should we start to do so. I also note that it appears that some people in that discussion falsely believe that all UPE is advertising, and that all UPE is vandalism. What nonsense. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 11:04, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
      • The or what? above made a subtle switich. DGG said that we must enforce the requirement to disclose. The or what? is obviously that the undisclosed paid editor is blocked. They have no right to edit here per the ToU. The switch was to something about article deletion, which is irrelevant to what DGG was saying. Smallbones(smalltalk) 18:23, 3 September 2020 (UTC)
        • The undisclosed paid editor is blocked? An account is blocked. A throwaway account is blocked? On discovery, on being asked a few simple questions, they never edit again anyway. This is a complete pretence. If their product can’t be deleted, their is no downside for them. The “must” is toothless. You may as well just say “please”. Or find a way to limit throwaway accounts. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:16, 4 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm not concerned with punishing anyone, on or off WP. I'm concerned about keeping promotionalism and other junk out of WP, and almost all paid editing fits both terms. The way to keep it out is to delete it, the way to prevent the same person inserting more is by blocking and looking for sockpuppets. Neither procedure is always effective, but it's way better than giving up. It's not practical to enforce all rules, but it is still necessary to have them, to set the norms against which behavior can be measured. Most of the tou, if it comes to it, makes requirements that we and the foundation cannot effectively enfroce, but we still need them to set the expectations. "Must" is the least ambiguous term to use in doing this. Anyone who had worked with disruptive editors will have seen them arguing "you didn't say I couldn't do it, only that I would be advised not to"--the time has come to end this excuse. It is true that what we do is what matters, not what we say, but we need to word things to be as clear as possible, as abackup and defense and explanation when we;re challenged-- especially when we're dealing with people in the UPE rings whose profession is based upon prevarication and deception.
    Remember , that many coi UPE are not professionals, but PR agents associated with the companies or universities. Most will not deliberately lie and break the rules. In my field, I can usually tell the difference between the total incompetence of the rings and the totally unencyclopedic but grammatical style of the PR people. I. usually handle things a little differently, because there's no point in explaining things to the people in the rings, but there is to people who id not realize they were going about things wrongly. Other fields will vary, but we always going to be dealing with both. DGG ( talk ) 03:33, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
    • Thank you for clarifying that not all paid editing is "promotionalism" or "junk". I'm sure that we can all agree that (notable and cited) content that is not "promotionalism" or "junk" should not be deleted. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:15, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
      • Actually, I meant just the opposite. All paid editing I have seen is inherently promotional , even though it be done with the intention of just providing information. . The problem I call attention to is that in some fields, we will have to move carefully in not removing existing content. DGG ( talk ) 22:27, 14 September 2020 (UTC)
        • You now seem to be leaping from "All paid editing I have seen is inherently promotional" to "All paid editing is inherently promotional". In doing so, you could not be more wrong. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:28, 16 September 2020 (UTC)

Changes to WP:PAID being discussed at the village pumpEdit

There is a discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)/Archive 65#Volunteers must declare that they are paid? about a recent edit that restored the April 2019 version of the Meaning of "employer, client, and affiliation" section of WP:PAID. – Joe (talk) 09:50, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

As I have also pointed out to you elsewhere, the discussion is in fact about the edit I reverted, which made a change to this policy, such that it asserted that "volunteers are deemed to be employees". I did not "restore the April 2019 version" of the section. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:43, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

The CunninghamsEdit

The Cunninghams is our article with the oldest transclusion of {{COI}}; it was first tagged in August 2008 (yes, over twelve years ago). I removed the tag on the basis that the conflicted editor has not edited the article since 20 August 2008‎‎ (and not substantively since 31 March that year - again, over twelve years ago); and that since then, well over twenty other people (not including bots) have edited the article.

Furthermore, the requirement for "a discussion on the article's talk page to explain what is non-neutral about the article" was (and apart from a repetition of the assertion of CoI, is still not) met.

The tag has been restored to the article. Should it be there, and if so, what is needed for its removal? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:49, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: Did you mean to post this at COIN? It doesn't seem relevant to this page. SmartSE (talk) 16:31, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, and there's already a discussion about it at Talk:The Cunninghams. – Joe (talk) 17:04, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
No. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:34, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
More fundamentally, I'm far from convinced that this band is, or ever really was, notable. Nominated for AfD. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 19:02, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Conflict of interest".